Often times we are encouraged to set goals to help us along the journey of life. While setting goals is very important, sometimes we tend to set our goals too high. We forget that that there is only so much that we can handle at a time. When we hear from a speaker, professor, etc. to set goals, we often do not hear the part about failing. We are human and therefore we are bound to fail. We cannot forget this when we set goals.
Aspiring to be better or to do better is a wonderful mindset, and goals are definitely going to help us become better. Setting goals allows us to really think about where we ultimately want to end up and the steps we want to take to get there. Goals also help us to focus on the final destination so that when we stumble, we have something to remind us what we are working for.
Now I fully agree with setting goals. I think that they teach us hard work, and help us to keep pushing through the struggles. But I also think that it is important to do a reality check. Failing. It is a part of life. It's a hard part of life, but also an important part of life. When setting goals, we can't forget that sometime we are going to fail. I do not want to sound pessimistic, but it will happen. So when we are setting goals, this is something to remember. It is not something to remember so that we can go into our goals thinking, "Why am I doing this if I'm just going to fail?" It should be a mindset we have so we can create goals that we can obtain. That means starting small and building from there.
For example, when wanting to improve one's prayer life, one might think that it is a good idea to set the goal of praying for 30 minutes everyday. Well, praying for 30 minutes everyday is absolutely wonderful, but it is a very large amount of time. (Now, some people already have a great prayer life and for them this would be the next step in deepening their prayer life and that is wonderful for them!) But, think of somebody who is starting from the very beginning. This may be a rough starting point. He/she will start by keeping his/her goal of, but one day they will miss his/her praying time. While that is OK, it will be hard and it will feel like a huge failure. Eventually, this will lead to surrendering your goal.
A way to combat having to surrender because of failure is to start out small. So this person that is trying to better their prayer life can instead start by making the commitment to say a Hail Mary every morning. This is a great goal because it is something that is small and allows for plenty of room for growth. It is also great because when that inevitable failure comes along, it is a goal that is easy to recover from. So you miss one Hail Mary? There is always tomorrow. Once they have obtained this goal, then they can take the next small step in their prayer life.
So instead of making one large goal, we should set a goal and make many small goals that will get us to the large one. Goals are important, and it important to work hard at keeping them, but we also have to recognize our imperfections as humans. Our imperfections will lead to failure, and if we have set too large of goals, our failure will lead to surrender. Begin small and grow from there. Just like climbing a ladder, you take it one rung at a time until you reach the top. Also remember, that just because we do fail, that doe not mean that we should give up. Surrendering is not the way to improve. Keep pushing through the struggles in life. Rely on the Lord. He will always get you to where you need to be.